ELYRIA — Officials don’t know exactly what to expect Monday when Lorain County Transit begins a bus service from Elyria and Sheffield Township to the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland for $3.65 a trip.
But commuters have been calling, according to Pam Novak, transit’s chief finance officer.
People who work in Cuyahoga County are thrilled that the bus will stop at Public Square near the casino because Public Square is a hub for other routes for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, she said.
An all-day pass on Transit’s Cleveland Commuter Service would cost $7.25 and includes just the trips between Lorain County and Public Square.
“It’s definitely a good price for people to pay for a round trip,” Novak said.
In addition to the cost of gas, parking can cost $90 a month or more in Cleveland, she said.
The buses will depart six times a day from the Lorain County Transportation Center at 40 East Ave., Elyria, and the Lorain County Board of Elections at 1985 North Ridge Road, Sheffield Township.
At this point, the service will only run Monday to Friday.
County Administrator James Cordes said each bus holds 22 people and a few less if anyone is in a wheelchair. There are also 10 spaces if anyone wants to stand in the aisle during the ride, he said.
The county needs 10 to 12 riders to break even, and the county plans to do a trial run of up to six months.
Cordes estimated it would cost between $30,000 and $50,000 to do a six-month trial run, but fares and selling advertising on the buses will offset some or all of those costs.
He said the county has no idea how many people will ride the service but said he hopes it will be popular.
“I’d love that,” Cordes said. “I could put on additional buses quickly.”
The service will allow the county to continue using some of the 12 buses the county transit system obtained in 2009 using federal funds.
The buses have been in storage after commissioners slashed spending to transit in recent years, trimming the service down to two routes running between Lorain and Elyria.
Federal officials have indicated they want to send the buses to other communities if Lorain County does not continue using them.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or email@example.com.